Utterances of a Zimboe

Programming the Internet.

Respect and inner peace

with 2 comments

This post will be about my own journey to simple, basic respect and a bit about complications that exist here in Finland. And I’ll analyze my communications style a bit… This story was primarily inspired by this post of a very good friend of mine.

I’m very grateful of my raising. I’ve never been obliged to settle to the second best; thus, I had freedom to pursue the ultimatum. Even today I consider compromises very carefully – within reason, obviously. My home wasn’t especially wealthy (totally out of this scale), so mostly the freedom turned out as letting me to keep my head and reject all kinds of bargain (money/stuff for favors). So, as foreign capital wasn’t available/acceptable, I had to pursue things with my own strength and get to feel the true value of things. The lack of rigid control could have turned out badly, but all of us managed to grow up pretty well. None of my brotherhood has ever even smoked or anything. I believe having a smart attitude is a force stronger by a couple magnitudes compared to simple parental control. In the end of the day, all of this made me kind of independent, I guess. (The value and beauty of life is in collaboration, of course. I love having company. I’ve just never been slaved by anyone.) (Sorry, I must place a break here…)

It took me somewhat into the university studies until I truly resurrected into the profession I hope I’m going to be in for the rest of my life. I had been nerding since C-64, so computer science was always a very clear target, but there were still many kinds of options to consider. However, at the university the founding of my existence was being finally laid. No more major options left, no choices available. That was a major relief, as then I didn’t need to compare my selections with others. Ok, it didn’t hurt that the path had always been somewhat clear and I had prepared myself for it; so, I was somewhat skilled among the cs students. Anyway, the most of the earlier comparison was with e.g. sales, management, and law people (people to-become, of course), but after finding my place I no more needed to judge their choices against mine. I could just appreciate how well they had done. Fortunately, I have no regrets regarding my choices.

Those complications of compliments back here then… Basically, compliments are much more scarce here in Finland compared to US. I guess I’m a bit more eager than average to show appreciation as I love to point out great passion, earnest dedication, and fine achievements; actually, I’m constantly searching for them. I may well disregard any less admirable properties of the subject, just to point out the good things; perhaps hoping to get him to focus on the things he’s good at. But, a very annoying problem is that it’s not unusual for people here to get simply cocky after stating that they did some little thing well. :) Some take it as it was finally noted that they are the most capable being ever walked on the face of Earth and start acting accordingly; totally losing focus and thus missing the point of the compliment. Furthermore (you really can go further!), the worst cases think that you just admitted your inferiority to them. :) It’s very amusing from a distance, but a little awkward when in an actual situation. So, then I must dismiss some other aspect just to bring them back to reality. This is a minor annoyance and I rarely stick with that kind of people very long anyway. (This may be related to the socialist scarcity of the soviet this country is still living in; even the compliments are used sparingly. I believe the culture of plenty has not actually hindered the US becoming the highly focused and efficient design economy.)

About a year or so all this career thing finally boiled down to a decision between architecture and programming. I should be able to grasp and communicate stuff at many levels and so I ended up as the head architect in a strategic project at Nokia. But, even at that level, planning the business cases was just boring compared to thrills of concurrent programming. We interviewed directors from many divisions and there were Nokia strategists sitting in the workshops – btw., Jan Bosch (of NRC) is one of the most charismatic persons I’ve ever seen. But, however nice it is to analyze the trends and discuss about the future, it’s no match for creating the future. So, the experience made it clear that programming was my ultimate path and thus I was able to start my journey. And I’ve been busy creating the future since.

It’s not very hard to acknowledge that my writing style doesn’t really implicate much inner peace, but that’s merely me exposing my inner child. That just happens to get most people into a defensive standing and I can imagine someone thinking “I’m so tired of these kids, they can’t even write properly…”, which of course is self-evidently true. Actually, the text is hard even for me to read, so I don’t actually know why I’m doing it… Not surprisingly, also the Microsoft’s demographics foreteller‘s guess is weighted towards teenagers. :) I don’t know, but I believe there’s not very many people in that group who understand the essence of my last few posts, so there’s a pretty clear conflict between presentation and message; and conflicts are bad. (Ok, as I may understand that prediction, I have no idea how the machine concluded the female segment to 42 %. That’d be interesting to know. Is it the ‘love’-words? Go figure… :)

In practice, my communication style usually leads an average bozo to regard me as immature and thus ignore my presence, which has happily left me chatting with people who get the difference between form and function, so it hasn’t been that bad. And the discussions with the brightest have always been the most engaging. However, I think I must regress my communication to the standard level not to scare people away – that’s a real lose-lose-situation, I acknowledge. Of course, you can’t afford the time it takes to please every bozo, but some may turn out just ok. But hey, at least zimboe is just a personal blog! I’ll probably never stiff it up very much… so, try to hang on!

Yours truly,
a zimboe, ever lacking true consciousness

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Written by Janne Savukoski

September 29, 2006 at 8:59 am

Posted in Diary

2 Responses

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  1. I must object!

    When we were teens, your grandpa acted as your personal food and refreshment deliverer, carried you stuff all the way to your work desk!
    Where rest of us had to take a pause, and walk all the way to the kitchen!

    When your hard work pays off, I will allways remember to use this as your excuse for doing “better” than me :D (Thus totally disregarding your work, the finnish way)

    Nominaali

    October 2, 2006 at 10:34 am

  2. But that damn kitchen was so far away! (just kidding… :) Yup, he definitely was there to support in all ways he was capable of. The old veteran, but still doing very strongly. Just bought a new (used) car, called me yersterday. :) I should have a visit to Lapland…

    And hell, no-one here (on Earth*, that is) is doing better than someone else, we’re all doing it in our own way! It just depends on the way you look at things. Especially you should have very little to complain about! :) Let’s just embrace all our faults and strenghts, preferably focusing on the strengts. (Nobody is particularly eager to hear about someone rambling over his/her weaknesses…)

    * In general of course, I can’t afford to handle all the exceptions in a blog comment.

    Janne Savukoski

    October 2, 2006 at 10:52 am


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